Delivered by Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum
Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
19 September 2022
Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, colleagues, I bring you warm Pacific greetings from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
At the regional level, the Pacific has adopted an integrated approach to climate change and disaster risk management under the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific 2017 – 2030. The FRDP is consistent with the Sendai Framework.
The implementation of the Sendai Framework in the Pacific is laced with a mix of challenges but as well significant opportunities. Our unique vulnerabilities of remoteness, small scale economies and limited resource bases, amongst many others combine to make the impact of hazard events substantial and far reaching. These are further compounded by factors like difficulties in accessing financial resources, limited capacities and the lack of risk-related data and information in useable formats that can be used in development planning and implementation.
Despite these challenges, the Pacific is forging ahead with greater determination and vigour. At the regional level for example practical tools such as the recently developed Pacific Resilience Standards provide an objective basis for assessing and planning resilience interventions thus strengthening the integrity and effectiveness of resilience building. A commitment by the Pacific’s Finance Ministers to develop a regional roadmap for disaster risk financing and guidelines for the establishment of national disaster risk financing strategies is another significant achievement on the pathway to increased regional resilience.
At the national level efforts are ongoing to prevent the creation of new risk such as through the development and use of community-based risk reduction toolkits in Palau; to reduce existing risk through a more comprehensive understanding of vulnerability and exposure as in coastal vulnerability assessments being undertaken in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and; strengthening existing resilience efforts by implementing institutional reform such in the Ministry of Finance in Tonga which has established a mechanism to oversee the country’s resilience financing agenda.
The Mid Term Review of the Sendai Framework is a good opportunity to build from our experiences and learning around COVID-19, and natural hazard events, to help strengthen policy and programming around resilience building and will also contribute to the mid-term review of the FRDP and generally strengthen our resilience building efforts.
I thank you.